Having been warned by a lot of travellers about recent delays of Air Asia and an overcrowded, chaotic LCCT in Kuala Lumpur we arrived quite early for the check in of our flight to Hat Yai in Thailand. And, what a surprise: empty departure halls at the LCCT, a quick check in and a flight that was even 5 minutes earlier! Not bad, not bad. The flight itself was nice and an hour later we arrived in Hat Yai.
Being the cheapies we are, we did not want to take a cab to town. So we were looking for some public buses which should take us to the bus terminal in town. And we were lucky. As the buses are some small, blue songthaews, we had to wait for some more passengers which is quite hopeless on this empty airport. But there was another guy with us and the driver agreed on taking only 3 for a cheap fare. So off we went on the bumpy ride to the bus terminal. In the middle of the 15 minute ride it started pouring down and we were immediately soaked. But it was warm - so we didn?t care. And again we were very lucky to catch a local minibus for a local fare (and not a tourist price) to Trang. The minibus went just 15 minutes later and drove directly to Trang. Woooow - that was smooth. Last year we arrived by train in Hat Yai and it was a horrible hassle with getting a bus. So we relaxed
happily on the bus - till it started pouring down again. As I was sitting on the back seat in the right corner, a bit squeezed of course, I was the unfortunate. The minivan was not really made for rain - after a few seconds, the first raindrops started dropping down on me. It was getting worse. The driver was only laughing. But at least he gave me some small towells - he must be used to this problem. Well, despite the towels, I was soaked for the second time that day. Finally, 2 hours later we arrived in Trang, our final destination for the day. We got of at the train station where we got a decent room in the Sri Trang Hotel. The hotel has seen better years but nevertheless it is a good deal. How could we complain with all the incredably friendly staff and a nice bar with cheap Chang?
We wanted to discover a bit of the town - but it was raining again. And I did not want to be soaked for a third time that day. So, I decided to go to the hairdresser. In the meantime, going to a hairdresser in a foreign country is kind of a habit or a hobby. Everytime we travel through a new country I love going to the hairdresser. It is not so much for the new hairstyle. It always gives me the feeling to be a bit closer to real life. A visit to the hairdresser gives you somehow a perfect inside in a country. Especially, as most of the women there are always very talkative. I do not opt the posh hair saloon options. Normally, I go to the little local hairdressers. This time it was small saloon in the old town of Trang. With the staff and the clients speaking not a word of english and me not speaking a word of thai, I had quite a funny time. My hair did look disastrous before, so I really had to explain which kind of cut I was looking for. Luckily, the lady had some thai women magazines. So she gave me some time to browse through them till I finally found a picture with a hairstyle which was ok for me. With hands and feet the hairdresser, some client and me were discussing if the style was good for me. It was amazing! I enjoyed it very much and we laughed a lot. They were so friendly and curious. For those, who haven't gone to a hair dresser - try it. It really is a great experience. Finally, it turned out fine and cheap and the whole saloon had a lot of fun.
Well, what else did we do in Trang. Of course we visited the night market. It is a nice little market and there is a lot of nice food. But we were a bit disappointed - never trust any guide books, especially those with the letters L and P. They say, it is the largest night market in Southern Thailand and really spectacular. Well, the ones in Hat Yai and Krabi are bigger and have more special food. Anyway, the Trang nightmarket is nice and quiet. But what we can recommend is the restaurant Khao Tom Pui which cannot be missed at night on the Praram Road opposite (and a bit up) the 7Eleven. It is on a corner and has excellent thai dishes. A walk through the old town, the many coffee shops and nice little shops are also highly recommended. Here you are a bit off the main tourist trap, you pay fair prices and can experience some nice thai atmosphere. We enjoyed it a lot. The cakes and deserts in the coffee shops are amazing!
In one of the coffee shops we took our time to plan our island hopping. Arriving in Trang we just had the plan to do some island hopping, but we didn't have a clue which island to visit. We finally decided to start on Koh Bulon. But first, you can enjoy some pics from our time in Trang.